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Pain Relief Without Drugs

Pain Relief
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are an almost uncountable number of brands of pain relievers on the medical market.  Were pain due to a drug deficiency, they might have more to offer. 
I am not in favor of pain except as a warning. Pain is often our wake-up call to action, when our bodies need to get a message to and an effective response from our busy brain. As protests on the Capitol Mall get the attention of lawmakers in Washington (sometimes, anyway), so does pain act as the squeaky wheel demanding grease.   
Putting in earplugs does not fix a squeaky wheel. The best pain relief will help cure the cause of pain. At the very least, we want the hurt to go away temporarily without harmful side effects. So we have therapeutic value and safety as benchmarks for pain relief. 
Here are two alternatives to pharmaceutical products: vitamin C and D,L-Phenylalanine.


 At high intake levels, Vitamin C is known to reduce inflammation and act to as a natural antibiotic and antihistamine. These properties are surprising enough to many, but one of the biggest surprises ever occurred during the 1970's in Scotland at the Vale of Leven Hospital. There, Ewan Cameron, M.D. was giving ten grams (10,000 milligrams) of vitamin C intravenously each day to terminally ill cancer patients. The study was about vitamin C and cancer, but the unexpected finding was in pain relief. 
In Great Britain at the time, it was policy to provide terminal patients with any and all pain relief available, including addictive narcotics such as heroin. The argument was simply that if one were dying anyway, a drug's analgesic value outweighs any drawbacks such as dependency. Dr. Cameron and Dr. Linus Pauling wrote in Cancer and Vitamin C (1981; revised 1993):


“Cameron and Baird reported (in 1973) that the first five ascorbate-treated patients who had been receiving large doses of morphine or heroin to control pain were taken off these drugs a few days after the treatment with vitamin C was begun, because the vitamin C seemed to diminish the pain to such an extent that the drug was not needed. Moreover, none of these patients asked that the morphine or heroin be given to them- they seemed not to experience any serious withdrawal signs or symptoms.” (page xii) 
Any vitamin that approaches the pain relieving power of morphine or heroin must be considered some kind of analgesic indeed. The fact that 13 out of 100 terminally ill cancer patients given vitamin C were still alive and apparently free of cancer after five years is some kind of miracle. 
Although quite a lot of vitamin C is needed for results, it is a remarkably safe and rather simple therapy. Additional information will be found in Dr. Cameron's "Protocol for the Use of Intravenous Vitamin C in the Treatment of Cancer," (click here to read it) and in the many vitamin C articles posted at this website (and easily found with a quick website search from the mainpage.)

 Unlike left-handed, essential L-Phenylalanine, the D- or "right-handed" form of this common amino acid is not actually a nutrient but an amino acid analgesic.  It is non-prescription but is rather costly for an effective dose. Practitioners using DLPA (Dextro-Levo-Phenyl-Alanine) normally employ it for chronic pain that is unresponsive to other measures. Arthritis or lower back pain would be examples.  While no substitute for medical or chiropractic care, DLPA may well be a most suitable companion. 
The dose of DLPA needed may vary from person to person, and is generally determined by starting with perhaps 1,000 mg daily for two weeks and then gradually increasing to a level that provides relief. If 3,000 mg per day doesn't work after a month's time, it probably will not work at all. About two-thirds of those using it will report real improvement in this time.  If they don't, then stop. There is no point in wasting money. 

For this stuff is not cheap. Tablet potency is commonly around 300 to 500 mg, so a person might well need to take quite a few each day. I used to think that DLPA was way too pricey until I saw a few prescriptions where the pills cost several dollars apiece (and this was over a decade ago, long before the even more expensive "Viagra").
The good news is that persons reporting pain relief will generally be able to LOWER their dose gradually and will often be able to maintain pain-free status with less DLPA than before. It is a bit unusual for an analgesic substance to work BETTER over time and require LESS; the opposite is the rule.  (Consider morphine, for instance.) DLPA has a long duration of action yet the body does not seem to build up a tolerance to it. 
You will probably not find just "D-phenylalanine" for sale, hence the focus here on DLPA. It is the D-form that is active; you CANNOT therefore substitute the levo- ("L") form that is so widely found, at far lower cost, in foods and stores. The "L" form will not work. If the bottle does not specifically state its contents as "DL," you can be certain they are just trying to sell you the useless "L" form.
Our earlier criteria for natural pain relievers included safety and healing value. The safety of DLPA is very good indeed. It is non-addictive and virtually non-toxic. Some estimates place its safety on a par with vitamin C or fructose. Still, it is not to be used during pregnancy. Persons with phenylketonuria (PKU) obviously should not take any extra phenylalanine. Persons with high blood pressure should take DLPA after meals. Outside of these, there are virtually no adverse effects. 
Added value may come from the fact that phenylalanine is converted by the body into phenylethylamine. Low levels of phenylethylamine are correlated with clinical depression; if DLPA raises these levels there is a real biochemical benefit. As a pain-killer, it seems to act by keeping enzymes called enkephalinase and carboxypeptidase A from breaking down the body's own morphine-like natural painkillers, the enkephalins and the endorphins. This makes a lot of sense: if the body relieves its own pain, a safe mechanism is probably at work. DLPA appears to assist that mechanism. 
Research has indicated that migraine, joint pains, neuralgia and even postoperative pain respond to DLPA, and it has been reported to reduce inflammation. DLPA does not deaden normal sensation even when taken for a lengthy period. Prescribed medication usually may still be taken with DLPA without interference. Consult the Physician's Desk Reference ("PDR", found at any doctor's office, pharmacy, or library) for information on any drug you may be taking or considering.

The most dramatic pain-relief case I have seen was when a friend of mine had a large number of old dental fillings replaced within a short period of time. As a result, he experienced ongoing and severe jaw pain that no pharmaceutical pain-killer could touch, and the dentist tried them all. In desperation, my friend tried DLPA, about 3,000 mg/day. He reported immediate improvement, and truly profound relief shortly thereafter.

1. Balagot, R.C., Ehrenpreis, S., Greenberg, J. and Hyodo, M., "D-Phenylalanine in Human Chronic Pain," Degradation of Endogenous Opioids: Its Relevance in Human Pathology and Therapy, S.   Ehrenpreis and Sicuteri, eds.  New York: Raven Press, 1983 
2. Balagot, R.C., Ehrenpreis, S., Kubota, K. and Greenberg, J., Advances in Pain Research and Therapy,  Vol. 5, Bonica, Liebeskind and Albe-Fessard, ed., pp 289-293, New York: Raven Press, 1983 
3. Beckman, H. et al, "DL Phenylalanine in Depressed Patients: An Open Study," Journal of Neural Transmission, 41:123-134, 1977 
4. Budd, K. "Use of D-Phenylalanine, an Enkephalinase Inhibitor, in the Treatment of Intractable Pain," Advances in Pain Research and Therapy,  Vol. 5, Bonica, Liebeskind and Albe-Fessard, ed., pp 305-308, New York: Raven Press, 1983 
5. Ehrenpreis, S., Balagot, R.C., Comaty, J.E. and Myles, S.B. "Naloxone Reversible Analgesia in Mice Produced by D-Phenylalanine and Hydrocinnamic Acid, Inhibitors of Carboxypeptidase A," Advances in Pain Research and Therapy, Vol. 3, Bonica, Liebeskind and Albe-Fessard, ed., pp 479-488, New York: Raven Press, 1978 
6. Ehrenpreis, S., Balagot, R.C., Myles, S., Advocate, C. and Comaty, J.E. "Further Studies on the Analgesic Activity of D-Phenylalanine in Mice and Humans,"  Proceedings of the International Narcotic Research Club Convention, E. L. Way, ed., pp 379-382, 1979 
7. Heller, B. "Pharmacological and Clinical Effects of D-Phenylalanine in Depression and Parkinson's Disease," in Modern Pharmacology-Toxicology, Noncatecolic Phenylethylamines, Part 1, A.D. Mosnaim  and M.E. Wolf, eds., pp 397-417, New York: Marcel Dekker, 1978 
8. Sabelli, H.C. and Mosnaim, A.D. "Phenylethylamine Hypothesis of Affective Behavior," American Journal of Psychiatry, 131:695, 1974 

Copyright 2007, 2004 and prior years by Andrew Saul.

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


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